Debt Recovery

Contact our specialist Debt Recovery Solicitors

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UK 028 8772 2102

IE 01 533 7860

This is a common problem faced by businesses and is certainly one of the most unpleasant tasks in relation to running a business. If you are chasing a debt and the period you allow for payment of said debt has elapsed you should act swiftly to ensure your companies interests are protected. Our experienced solicitors will advise you on the best course of action to take, this can include pre-action debt collection, county court proceedings and bankruptcy proceedings for example.

What can I do if a client hasn’t paid me?

Sometimes all that is required to ensure that you get paid is clear communication. Start the process by picking up the phone with your client to give them a friendly reminder. Follow that up with a letter or an e-mail. Remind your client about the agreed payment terms. Apply interest to the late payments to incentivise clients to pay on time and remind clients that future work will be paused until all outstanding invoices are paid.

Next Steps

If a friendly reminder does not work, the next step is to serve a formal letter before action. This letter is the first step in the legal process and warns your client that action will be taken if the debt is not paid within a set period of time. Our debt recovery specialists can draft and serve this letter on your behalf.

Is there a time limit to make a debt recovery claim?

Normally, debt claims must be brought within 6 years of the date the debt fell due.

What if the letter before action does not work?

Normally the next stage is to initiate legal proceedings. However, an alternative and sometimes faster approach that can be used in certain circumstances is to launch insolvency proceedings, to either bankrupt a debtor if they are a person or wind up a debtor if they are a company. The first step in insolvency proceedings is to serve a Statutory Demand on the debtor. We can advise you as to when you should move forward with insolvency proceedings and we can undertake this specialised work on your behalf.

Normally the next steps if a letter before action does not work is to initiate court proceedings. The amount of the debt, including interest due, determines which court tier will deal with the case:

  • Small Claims Court – up to £3000.00
  • County Court – £3000.00 – £30,000.00
  • High Court – £30,000.00 +

(Between £3000.00 & £10,000.00, the case can be dealt within the District Judges Court, which is part of the County Court).

What should you do before starting legal action?

Before initiating court proceedings, status and credit checking is recommended. Court action can be costly, therefore carrying out the right checks can give you the confidence that the debtor is able to pay. These checks would include, Bankruptcy & Enforcement Judgement’s office searches, Company House searches and the Official Register for Judgements & Orders.  We can obtain these searches on your behalf.

I have obtained a Court Order against a debtor, what do I do next?

Once you obtain a court order, you should serve that court order on the debtor, giving them a reasonable period of time to comply with the order, normally 7 or 14 days.

If the debtor is still refusing to pay, you have 2 further potential steps:

 

  1. Issue Enforcement of Judgements office (EJO) proceedings. The EJO have responsibility in Northern Ireland to enforce Court Orders. Unfortunately, there are additional fees to enforce an order through the EJO.
  2. Issue insolvency proceedings. As previously outlined, you can issue bankruptcy proceedings against an individual who owes you money or winging up proceedings against a company who owes you money.

The above is a short guide to help you recover money due and owing to you.

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    Approachability. We make it very easy for you to contact us and communicate with us.

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    Brilliant service. From the very beginning everything made very straightforward. Communication was perfect.
    Big thank you to Seanin for dealing with everything in a professional and affordable manner. I’m very pleased, and can highly recommend!
    pjr899

    I retained PA Duffy for a property purchase in Northern Ireland, and was very luckily assigned Emma McCaul. Myself being based in the Rep of Ireland made the selecting of an All Ireland Solicitors the perfect choice.
    Emma was superb to deal with throughout, responsive and very client focused, in both her dealings and advice.
    I would absolutely recommend this Solicitors for any legal service they provide in either jurisdiction on this island.

    Greachain O’Ceallaigh

    Just wanted to say a very big thank you to solicitor Enda McGarrity of P.A Duffy Solicitors.
    Once again I cannot fault the competence and skill expected of his professionalism.
    Enda represented myself at a meeting I was absolutely dreading and reluctant to attend. His quality, efficiency, and sense of humanity before during and after this meeting was outstanding.
    Conal, Enda and Sinéad Willox have all supported and represented me throughout a very difficult time of my life. I cannot fault their professionalism and expertise throughout.
    So P.A Duffy Solicitors, thank you for all you do, and may continued prosperity meet and greet you at every corner you turn. 🙏

    K R
    I had my first dealings with PA Duffy back in 1981 and still rely on their experience, professionalism and responsiveness to navigate through the legal system. Emma and the team looked after the recent sale of our house, everything went like clockwork, if I needed any help or advice they were there every time. Brilliant service. Many thanks to all the team at Dungannon.
    Brendan Dunlop
    Emma done our conveyancing for purchase of our property. Great communication upheld throughout buying and the entire process was easy!
    Emer McLernon
    I have just completed a house purchase with PA Duffy and every aspect of their service was truly outstanding from start to finish. Kieran and the team couldn’t have made the process any easier and really couldn’t have been more helpful. They gave sound and timely advice, and were always available to answer any queries when I phoned. I would highly recommend PA Duffy if you require a highly professional, slick and seamless service.
    Jonathan Ireland
    First time using PA Duffy for a property sale/purchase and Emma McCaul was fantastic. Would definitely recommend.
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    The service I received from PA Duffy & Co was nothing short of excellent and I would not hesitate in recommending the firm to friends and colleagues. Seanin Somerville was efficient and pro-active when dealing with my case and kept me updated at every stage providing reassurance and sound legal advice. This made all the difference to what was a very stressful situation.
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    I contacted PA Duffy after an accident and was delighted with the service I received it was first class. Seanin Somerville could not have been any better with her professional, friendly and helpful manner nothing was too much trouble and the case was dealt with quickly with regular updates. I would highly recommend this company and thank them and specifically Seanin for their help.

    Kind Regards
    Steven Hull.

    Steven Hull
    I would like to thank the various staff of P.A Duffy for their help and guidance through a very difficult stage of my life, Judith, Sinead and Danielle for their kindness and professionalism in navigating me through the process and to the eventual outcome which I was delighted with. I would highly recommend them.
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    From the moment you ring or attend this practice you realise that this is a professional set up.
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    An amazing reception and extensive backroom team makes everything streamlined.
    Everyone that works here is extremely helpful.
    I highly recommend P.A. Duffy & Co Solicitors, Dungannon.
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    From calling PA Duffy for help we cannot fault the efficiency and professionalism we was given. We cannot thank Sinead Willox enough for all her help and reinsurance. No matter what time of day or night, she was there to guide us through everything . No problem big or small she puts her full effort into helping us through it. After the bad experience we had with other solicitors she really reassured us through the difficult times we were experiencing . For sure!! PA Duffy will be the only people we would call on for help . Thank you so much!
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    Seanin
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    T Newell
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    Debt Recovery was last modified: May 17th, 2022 by Conal McGarrity